According to him -- and he says he has it on tape -- he was told he wasn't a risk to anyone before he left. By all accounts this was, and probably still is, true (I will review the evidence in another post). He had no cough or fever or other symptoms (i.e., he has latent, not active TB at this time) and his sputum had no visible tubercle bacilli under the microscope. In other words, he is like 95% of people infected with this bug, not sick. Most are also not infectious. The diagnosis that he was potentially infectious must have come from culturing the sputum for the TB organism, which grows very slowly. It can take months, sometimes. Again, when it grew they probably tested it against the usual drugs and found it was resistant to the first line ones. At that point they likely started the culture growing again against the second line drugs. That takes more time, and he was in
Okay so far. But:
It's at this point things start to unravel. Like most people infected with TB he isn't sick, but the TB can start up and cause active illness at any time. And active TB with XDR strains has a fairly high mortality, not because it is more virulent (it isn't), or more infectious (it isn't) but because TB is not a good disease and it can kill you. We don't fear it now in the
So as I imagine the circumstance, here's a guy whose life suddenly turns in an instant. He gets a message from CDC he now has a life changing disease and his only shot at cure is in a hospital in
It’s an honorable effort, but it has some problems, which Revere himself seems tacitly to acknowledge. The first words are “according to him”—i.e., we’re asked to exonerate the defendant on defense testimony only. I wouldn’t take that one to the bank.
The second part seems to me more challenging. My first thought, watching the story on Jim Lehrer last night, was that the patient's conduct from